Guy Mowbray, one of the lead voices on Match of the Day and BBC live match coverage, gave Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism and Media Week a revealing insight into the commentator’s world.
Noticeable from the start was that he is a fan as much as a commentator. You can see the passion for the sport. If the commentator doesn’t seem invested how are you as the viewer supposed to care? “Commentary for me has got to be of the moment” he said. It’s clear that regardless of the quality and outcome of the game he cares.
He started his career at a local radio station covering news stories and more but by sticking to the phrase “never ever say no, just say yes because if you don’t someone will” his career excelled. This is used so much in journalism but to hear from a man who has enjoyed such success in sports commentary proves that the motto still stand today.
Mowbray got his big break in France covering the 1998 World Cup in which he was widely regarded as the youngest commentator to cover a World Cup final at 26 years old. Speaking about how he got in that situation he perfectly described it as “a series of happy little accidents” which led to a multiple commutes from York to Gateshead to Sunderland to Paris.
With social media becoming more ever present and online content always being in circulation , commentators will always hear their voice being used and Guy showed that he cares about doing the job without taking away from the game . He said he more or less called the World Cup final result but did regret his comment of Lionel Messi being draped in a golden robe: “I said it was only fitting that the king of football should be coronated. ‘Coronated’…. its not even a bloody word…. it should have been crowned!”
One of the main talking points from the session was his work in World Cups and you could tell from the way he talked about it he cares about being involved. “It’s the hardest you’ll ever work but its the most fun you will have” and with the World Cup in 2026 taking place in United States , Mexico and Canada and his passion for experiencing these countries it could provide some more engaging commentary.
I asked Guy about the next World Cup and in particular how the USA has become a marketing powerhouse for the top clubs in England and also the possibility of playing multiple Premier League games in other countries.